Bookshop.org Reaches $15 Million Earned for Independent Bookstores in Support of the Fight Against Amazon
Bookshop.org, the ethical online marketplace which supports independent bookstores, announced today that it has generated $15 million for its affiliated stores since the site launched in January 2020.
The platform financially supports over 1,200 indie bookstores across the US, with an additional 26,000 non-store affiliates contributing to the impressive results by offering online shoppers an ethical alternative to Amazon that supports local businesses. With a 17% year-on-year growth, Bookshop.org has demonstrated the value of the young start-up not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as the bookstores, and the local communities they serve, face the ever-growing threat of Amazon.
Booksellers using the platform have reported the many ways in which Bookshop.org has been a financial lifeline in a particularly challenging time, with the additional income allowing many to survive the challenges of the pandemic, pay rent, create corporate orders for e-gift cards, and even open new stores.
Fawn Fernandes, Owner of Curious Capybara Bookshop (Hendersonville, TN), said: “I opened my children’s bookstore in September 2020 – right smack dab in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. I did it because I believed our area needed a children’s bookstore, now more than ever. And I was right! But of course, with the struggle of opening any new business, let alone a bookstore, let alone during a pandemic – well, it’s not been easy. We received our semi-annual Bookshop.org funds at a time when I wasn’t sure we would be able to make rent. And while it may not make a huge impact on some of the larger stores, for my small start-up it was literally a game-changer. But it gave me more than funds in my bank account. It gave me hope. It gave me encouragement that not only could I make this work, but I had a huge network of people – other bookstores, the staff at Bookshop, people who SHOP at Bookshop.org – that had my back, that loved books as much as I did, that wanted me to succeed with my little shop. These funds mean more than money. It means community to me. And for that, I will be forever grateful.”
In addition, Bookshop.org has been offering more than just financial support to booksellers: it’s been strengthening their online presence, helping them with social media exposure, enabling them to reach wider audiences, expanding their offer and inventory, allowing them to share personalised lists and recommendations with customers, and creating a sense of community.
Link to the rest at Bookshop.org via Midas Public Relations Ltd.
PG will be happy to hear contrary opinions, but primarily positioning your company as fighting against one of the world’s most-admired companies seems to be a marketing proposition that’s much more attractive to the PR firm’s client than it will be to the general English-speaking world of readers and other book purchasers.
PG doesn’t doubt that the owners of most physical bookstores don’t like Amazon, but how much further does that attitude extend?
PG is willing to agree that most of those working for traditional publishers don’t like Amazon, even though Amazon is their largest customer, miles larger than whoever is #2 this month.
That said, as regular visitors to TPV will know, PG is of the opinion that most employees of traditional publishers are there because they can’t get a job anywhere else (excluding the fast food industry), so what would you expect?
Do most people who buy books really dislike Amazon?
Do most people who don’t buy books right now, but might consider doing so in the future really dislike Amazon?
UPDATE: PG just went to Bookshop.org to check out what the purchasing experience was like.
One of the site’s featured books was How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith.
The following editions of Mr. Smith’s book were on offer:
- Hardcover English – $26.68, marked down from $29.00
- Hardcover English – Large Print – $28.52, marked down from $31.00
- Compact Disk English – $36.80, marked down from $40.00
A quick online trip to Amazon revealed the following editions of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America on offer:
- Kindle – $14.99
- Audible Audiobook – Free with Audible trial, $29.65 otherwise
- Hardcover English – $17.84
All three editions of Mr. Smith’s book were ranked in the top five of Amazon’s best-seller list for African-American Studies/African American History and Historiography, which likely generated additional sales of the book.
Bookshop.org’s Bestsellers of the Week list did not include any of Mr. Smith’s books, although PG is pretty certain that Bookshop.org has a lock on the market for audiobooks on CD.
Additionally Bookshop.org’s other bestseller lists did not include any of Mr. Smith’s books. For your general information, other than Bestsellers of the Week, Bookshop.org’s bestseller lists which PG was able to find were as follows:
- Queer Books by Black Authors
- Special Abilities
- Staff Picks, Summer 2021
- The Natural World
- All We Can Save: More Nonfiction from the Climate Anthology Contributors
- stories + spells for the Dog Days
- Ancient Greek Myth Retellings
- Kristen Radtke’s Must-Read Graphic Novels for 2021
- 100 Books Every Teacher Needs to Read 2021
- Hot People Unlearn Fatphobia (PG’s personal favorite category)
- Pen Parentis Writers – Books adapted for the Screen and Stage
- Celebrate National Foreign Language Month with Your Child!
- In this Week’s Newsletter
PG finds some of these bestseller lists to be . . . whimsical . . . although he certainly knows where to go for all his fatphobia reading needs.
See even more at Bookshop.org